New Learning Tool Provides EHR Training for Med Students

Megan Brooks

April 20, 2017

The American Medical Association (AMA) and the Regenstrief Institute yesterday announced a newly enhanced tool to provide medical students and medical trainees with real-world experience using electronic health records (EHRs) during their training.

The Regenstrief EHR Clinical Learning Platform will be disseminated to medical schools across the country.

As part of its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative, the AMA has been working with a consortium of 32 medical schools to identify innovations needed to create the "medical school of the future," AMA Group Vice President for Medical Education Susan E. Skochelak, MD, said at a press briefing.

"One clear need that we have identified is that students are frequently entering residency training without the ability to effectively and efficiently work with EHRs, even though they are one of the primary tools that physicians use in everyday practice. You can imagine this is comparable to a physician graduating medical school without learning how to properly use a stethoscope," said Dr Skochelak.

To close this gap, the Indiana University School of Medicine worked with Regenstrief Institute to develop a way for its medical students to gain real-world experience using EHRs as part of the $1 million dollar AMA grant the university received through the AMA's Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative.

"Now after more than a year of use by and feedback from Indiana University medical students and faculty, the Regenstrief EHR Clinical Learning Platform has been enhanced and is ready for widespread adoption in both medical schools and other health profession schools," Dr Skochelak said.

Improving the Informatics IQ of Students

Using real, deidentified and misidentified patient data, the platform allows students to virtually care for patients with multiple, complex health conditions by navigating records, documenting encounters, and placing orders within an application that is similar to EHRs used in practice.

"It also provides an immersive and cutting-edge way for educators to teach students how EHRs can be used to address important issues pertaining to population health, quality improvement, patient safety, and social determinants of health. The platform uniquely offers tools for educators to create customized content that is specific to their curriculum goals and also tools to evaluate students," the AMA said in a news release.

"It is ironic [that] as EHRs have proliferated in the past decade, significant medical student exposure to these systems has decreased," Blaine Y. Takesue, MD, Regenstrief research scientist and assistant professor of Clinical Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, said in the release.

"EHRs are a tool most physicians will use every day in their practice, and data from EHRs will impact all physicians." The Regenstrief EHR Clinical Learning Platform will "improve healthcare by improving the informatics 'IQ' of medical students and other healthcare profession students," said Dr Takesue.

The platform has already been adopted by the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Southern Indiana University School of Nursing, and it will soon be implemented at several other schools, including the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the University of Idaho Wwami Medical Education Program.

On April 24, the AMA will host a webinar for faculty of medical and health profession schools who are interested in incorporating the platform into their schools' curricula as part of its new Innovations in Medical Education webinar series, which highlights innovations emerging from the consortium.

Most recently, the AMA, through its work with the consortium, launched a new health systems science textbook, which is currently being used in medical schools across the country to help students navigate the changing landscape of modern healthcare, especially as the nation moves toward value-based care, Dr Skochelak said.

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